The role of neurotrophic factors, apoptosis-related proteins, and endogenous antioxidants in the differential temporal vulnerability of neonatal cerebellum to ethanol.
ABSTRACT Ethanol produces abnormalities in the developing nervous system, with certain regions being vulnerable during well-defined periods. Neonatal rodent cerebellum is particularly susceptible to ethanol during the early postnatal period [on postnatal days 4-5 (P4-5)], while this region is resistant to ethanol at a slightly later time (P7-9). We assessed basal levels of several substances which may be involved in differential temporal ethanol vulnerability in neonatal cerebellum, and analyzed alterations in these substances after early ethanol exposure.
Assessments were made of neurotrophic factors nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4; apoptosis-related proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, Bax, Bcl-xs, Bad, phosphorylated-Bad, phosphorylated-Akt, and phosphorylated-c-Jun N-terminal kinase; and the antioxidants superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and catalase. These analyses quantified basal levels (in controls), and sequential changes following acute ethanol exposure at the vulnerable and resistant cerebellar periods (P4, P7).
Comparisons of basal levels of the molecules assessed between P4 and P7 revealed higher levels of total proapoptotic Bad at p4, higher levels of the protective pAkt kinase at P7, and lower levels of proapoptotic pJNK at P7. Other basal levels did not differ. While ethanol-mediated alterations were found at both ages favoring both apoptosis and survival, the apoptosis-promoting changes produced on P4 exceeded those on P7, and most occurred within the first 2 hr after exposure, a critical survival/death period. The number of alterations favoring survival were similar at the two ages, but at P7 most occurred within the first 2 hr after exposure, possibly acting in a protective manner.
Differential temporal vulnerability to ethanol in the neonatal cerebellum appears to be paralleled by cellular alterations in neurotrophic factors, apoptosis-regulatory proteins, and/or antioxidant activities which generally favor apoptosis at the most sensitive age and survival at the resistant age.
Article: Ethanol influences on Bax translocation, mitochondrial membrane potential, and reactive oxygen species generation are modulated by vitamin E and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study investigated ethanol influences on intracellular events that predispose developing neurons toward apoptosis and the capacity of the antioxidant α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to modulate these effects. Assessments were made of the following: (i) ethanol-induced translocation of the pro-apoptotic Bax protein to the mitochondrial membrane, a key upstream event in the initiation of apoptotic cell death; (ii) disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) as a result of ethanol exposure, an important process in triggering the apoptotic cascade; and (iii) generation of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a function of ethanol exposure. These interactions were investigated in cultured postnatal day 8 neonatal rat cerebellar granule cells, a population vulnerable to developmental ethanol exposure in vivo and in vitro. Bax mitochondrial translocation was analyzed via subcellular fractionation followed by Western blot, and mitochondrial membrane integrity was determined using the lipophilic dye, JC-1, that exhibits potential-dependent accumulation in the mitochondrial membrane as a function of the MMP. Brief ethanol exposure in these preparations precipitated Bax translocation, but both vitamin E and BDNF reduced this effect to control levels. Ethanol treatment also resulted in a disturbance of the MMP, and this effect was blunted by the antioxidant and the neurotrophin. ROS generation was enhanced by a short ethanol exposure in these cells, but the production of these harmful free radicals was diminished to control levels by cotreatment with either vitamin E or BDNF. These results indicate that both antioxidants and neurotrophic factors have the potential to ameliorate ethanol neurotoxicity and suggest possible interventions that could be implemented in preventing or lessening the severity of the damaging effects of ethanol in the developing central nervous system seen in the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2011; 35(6):1122-33. · 3.34 Impact Factor
Article: Differential effects of ethanol on c-jun N-terminal kinase, 14-3-3 proteins, and Bax in postnatal day 4 and postnatal day 7 rat cerebellum.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: These studies investigated ethanol effects on upstream cellular elements and interactions which contribute to Bax-related apoptosis in neonatal rat cerebellum at ages of peak ethanol sensitivity (postnatal day 4 [P4]), compared to later ages of relative resistance (P7). Analyses were made of basal levels of the pro-apoptotic c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), Bax, and the 14-3-3 anchoring proteins, as well as the responsiveness of these substances to ethanol at P4 versus P7. Dimerization of Bax with 14-3-3 was also investigated at the two ages following ethanol treatment, a process which sequesters Bax in the cytosol, thus inhibiting its mitochondrial translocation and disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential. Cultured cerebellar granule cells were used to examine the protective potential of JNK inhibition on ethanol-mediated cell death. Basal levels of JNK were significantly higher at P4 than P7, but no differences in the other proteins were found. Activated JNK, and cytosolic and mitochondrially-translocated Bax were increased in P4 but not P7 animals following ethanol exposure, while protective 14-3-3 proteins were increased only at P7. Ethanol treatment resulted in decreases in Bax:14-3-3 heterodimers at P4, but not at P7. Inhibition of JNK activity in vitro provided partial protection against ethanol neurotoxicity. Thus, differential temporal vulnerability to ethanol in this CNS region correlates with differences in both levels of apoptosis-related substances (e.g., JNK), and differential cellular responsiveness, favoring apoptosis at the most sensitive age and survival at the resistant age. The upstream elements contributing to this vulnerability can be targets for future therapeutic strategies.Brain research 11/2011; 1432:15-27. · 2.46 Impact Factor
Article: Activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-derived peptide prevents alcohol-induced apoptosis, in part, through Bcl2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathways in fetal brain of C57BL/6 mouse.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fetal alcohol exposure is known to induce alteration in fetal brain development. In this study, we focused on neuroprotection against the effects of alcohol exposure using ADNF-9, a peptide derived from activity-dependent neurotrophic factor. We used a mouse model of fetal alcohol exposure to identify the intracellular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of ADNF-9. On embryonic day 7 (E7), weight-matched pregnant females were assigned to the following groups: (1) ethanol liquid diet (ALC) of 25% (4.49%, v/v) ethanol-derived calories; (2) pair-fed control (PF); (3) ALC combined with administration (i.p.) of ADNF-9 (ALC/ADNF-9); and (4) pair-fed combined with administration (i.p.) of ADNF-9 (PF/ADNF-9). On E13, fetal brains were collected, weighed, and apoptosis was determined using TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Bcl2 protein and phospho-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) levels were determined using Western blot and enzyme immunometric assay, respectively. ADNF-9 administration significantly prevented alcohol-induced reductions in fetal brain weight. In addition, ADNF-9 prevented an alcohol-induced increase in cell death in the primordium of the cerebral cortex and ganglionic eminence. Western blot analysis of the mitochondrial protein fractions revealed that ADNF-9 administration prevented an alcohol-induced reduction in the Bcl2 level. Moreover, an analysis of the proteins in the upstream signaling pathway revealed that ADNF-9 downregulated the phosphorylation of JNK. These data indicate that the mitochondrial Bcl2 pathway and JNK upstream signaling pathway are the intracellular targets of ADNF-9. The neuroprotective mechanism of action of ADNF-9 provides a direction for potential therapeutics against alcohol-induced neural damage involving mitochondrial dysfunction.Neuroscience 12/2011; 202:465-73. · 3.38 Impact Factor